Carriers are pretty overt about making consumers pay for their devices using long-term contracts or high amounts of cold, hard cash. They're not so open about the subsequent payment in tears - thick, heavy tears dropped waiting for Android updates that feel destined never to come. Well, Verizon Galaxy Note 3 owners, you've officially paid enough. It's time to wipe away those tears, for the Galaxy Note 3 KitKat OTA update is finally rolling out to devices.
The impressive Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition has gradually dropped in price in the time since its launch, but the 16GB option is still going for $479 new on Amazon. Today you can get a refurbished one off eBay for $339. That's nearly $150 less, enough to beg the question: How much is new really worth, anyway?
We've seen refurbished versions of the tablet dip below $400 before, but this is a new low.
16GB of on-board storage? Pathetic. 32GB MicroSD card? Miserly. Samsung is teaming up with its subsidiary Seagate to provide an add-on mobile storage solution that should outstrip just about everything out there, and do a few more tricks as well. The "Samsung Wireless" device is combination Wi-Fi/USB portable hard drive and portable battery with a gigantic 1.5TB capacity, set to sell for $179. Unfortunately there's no reliable release date, and it's not available on the Samsung store at the moment.
SamMobile has gotten its hands on some pictures of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5, which is yet another Samsung tablet for us to keep up with (please don't hurt me if I accidentally type Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S 7.7 one day - I'm really trying here). What makes this one special is its screen, as it is expected to ship with a 2560×1600 AMOLED display. The device will reportedly come in two sizes, 8.4 and 10.5 inches.
Eight inches is a fine size for a tablet, but the options are still pretty slim. People in want of a stock Android experience in the form factor pretty much have to go with the LGGPGPE or hack together their own solution. Thankfully the latter is, depending on the device, as simple as gaining root and flashing a ROM. CyanogenMod has just rolled out its first nightlies for Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4.
The original Galaxy Gear was a tough sell at $299. Heck, even at the $199 price you can find it for these days, it's still a tough sell. Let's be honest, even paying that much for any of the quarter-dozen Gears Samsung replaced the gadget with takes some convincing. But $99? That's a number I can get behind, and it's one I'm sure some of you can as well. Today eBay Daily Deals has the Galaxy Gear, refurbished, available in three colors for precisely that amount.
Both Sprint and T-Mobile announced OTA updates for two long-forgotten handsets today stuck on Android 4.1.1 - the Samsung Nexus S and the HTC One S, respectively (that is, the Sprint Nexus S and the T-Mobile One S).
Both updates are described merely as containing security enhancements, but given that Android 4.1.1 is the only known OS version potentially vulnerable to the now-infamous heartbleed exploit, it's fairly easy to determine what this is all about (HTC's site actually confirms as much).
Sprint or Verizon customers in the market for a new Galaxy S5 might want to meander on over to Amazon right about now. Currently the site has the handset available for just $99.99 with a two-year contract, half of the usual upfront fee. This deal is applicable both for new customers and people looking to upgrade to another device.
Verizon users who would prefer to avoid Amazon do have a few options.
Verizon customers who want to indulge in the more in-depth parts of Android don't often get the chance, thanks to the carrier's tendency to lock down bootloaders and close off most of the avenues to custom ROMs. But for major releases, manufacturers often sell contract-free variants with an unlockable bootloader. Like the S4 before it, the Galaxy S5 now has the option, and you can buy one directly from Samsung. Verizon won't sell it to customers online or in retail stores.
If you think that Samsung's "Pro" line of tablets are too expensive, you're in good company. And apparently that company includes the folks at Amazon, because they've discounted every Galaxy Tab Pro and Note Pro model by a considerable margin. They're still expensive, at least compared to other Android tablets, but they might be a little more palatable with a lower price tag.
Let's take it from the top, shall we?